In the Lassen National Forest, a historic lookout cabin stands tall, providing sweeping views of the outdoors near the Ishi Wilderness. And you can rent it for an unforgettable vacation.
The McCarthy Point Lookout was constructed in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, serving as a crucial wildfire spotting station. During World War II, it played a vital role in California’s aircraft defense monitoring system. Now, the McCarthy Point Lookout beckons adventurers seeking a remote and unforgettable retreat.
Accessible by vehicle, the lookout welcomes visitors to embark on a picturesque journey. However, a high-clearance vehicle is recommended for traversing the rugged terrain. From the parking area, guests must take a 1,000-foot walk along a paved trail to reach the lookout. As it perches atop a high cliff area, caution is advised during the approach.
The McCarthy Point Lookout boasts a two-room cabin equipped with a kitchen and a bedroom. The bedroom offers a breathtaking view from its three sides adorned with windows. The space features overhead propane lights, two single-sized sleeping platforms, and six aluminum cots, ensuring a comfortable night’s rest.
The kitchen is equipped with propane lights, a cook stove, wood stove, double sinks with running non-potable water (regrettably, hot water is not available), a large picnic-style table with benches, and a portable gas barbecue. Propane is provided for guests’ convenience. Although some creature comforts are available, visitors are encouraged to bring their own supplies and gear for an unforgettable stay.
The cabin’s location at an elevation of 3,600 feet treats guests to breathtaking vistas of Mill Creek Canyon and the surrounding Ishi Wilderness. McCarthy Point Lookout is tucked amidst a serene stand of mixed evergreens. The area is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including wild hog, mountain lion, black bear, coyote, bobcat, Tehama deer, and rabbit. Raptors, such as hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls, frequently nest on rock cliffs in the nearby Ishi Wilderness. Bird enthusiasts will delight in sightings of wild turkey, quail, canyon wrens, band-tailed pigeons, and various songbirds.
The lookout is not just a scenic wonder but also an excellent base for exploring the recreational opportunities of the Ishi Wilderness. The area offers numerous hiking and equestrian trails that crisscross the expansive landscape. Anglers can partake in fishing activities, though they must adhere to special regulations for Mill and Deer Creeks within the Wilderness. Before casting a line, visitors are advised to check the State of California’s Fishing Regulations and obtain a valid California fishing license.